Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in association with Ministry of Tourism organized an International Buddhist Conclave in Aurangabad on 24th August 2018 with an aim to enlighten the people on various destinations associated with the Buddhist culture in the state. The idea is to highlight and promote Ajanta and Ellora as a tourist hotspot in the international Buddhist Tourism map.
MTDC is working to create new avenues in the state for Buddhist Tourism by strengthening their ties with Buddhist nations around the globe. MTDC is also planning to offer its land bank to Buddhist countries for developing Buddhist theme park and monasteries near Ajanta, the UNESCO heritage site in Aurangabad. MTDC is planning to tie up with KJ Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies to introduce new tour packages to promote Buddhist Tourism in the state.
The Ministry of Tourism has selected Ajanta and Ellora, UNESCO heritage sites under their Iconic Destination Project, to offer world-class amenities to the tourists. The Ministry of Tourism is also joining hands with the Ministry of Highways to develop the roads in Aurangabad for better connectivity of the iconic caves with the airport so that it becomes convenient for tourists coming in from other locations in the country.
Maharashtra has rich Buddhist heritage and culture. It is an idyllic destination for visitors who are looking for harmony and peace. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is encouraging local bodies to build Buddhist Circuits in the state. Some of the Buddhist Circuits are Stupa in Nalasopara, Global Vipassana Pagoda in Gorai, Mandapeshwar Caves in Borivali, Chaityabhoomi in Dadar, Elephanta Caves and Kanheri Caves in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Karla and Bhaja Caves in Pune, Pandavleni Caves in Nashik, Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur, along with the UNESCO heritage sites at Ajanta and Ellora in Aurangabad.
Commenting on the occasion, Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra said, “It’s a privilege to be part of the International Buddhist Conclave in Aurangabad which offers an excellent opportunity for us to come together with all Buddhist countries under one roof and discuss mutual prospects and develop new opportunities. The main aim is to highlight the significant locations where Lord Buddha preached, taught and attainted enlightenment or nirvana in the state.”
Shri Vijay Kumar Guatam (IAS), Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra added, “I am overwhelmed with the support we have received during the recent Buddhist Conclave 2018. Through this initiative, we would like to promote Lord Buddha’s teachings and encourage the rich heritage of the great religion. This event has helped in strengthening the ties between India and other countries. This is just a start and I feel there is much more to discover, we look forward to welcoming the Buddhists explorist across the globe.”
Commenting on the occasion, Shri Suhas Diwase, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation said, “Our objective is to widen the potential of Buddhist Tourism across the globe by encouraging tourists from Buddhist nations to experience its rich legacy through Buddhist monuments and centres in the state. I am certain that this step will prove to be of great interest to the tourists who wish to explore more about Lord Buddha’s journey and self-discovery and help in attracting visitors from other Buddhist nations like Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand among others.”
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the state that has generated substantial foreign exchange and significant employment prospects. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) was established with the aim of promoting tourism in the state.
Maharashtra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India offering a diverse range of experiences from pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, natural caves, waterfalls, to imposing forts, colourful festivals, ancient pilgrimage shrines, museums, and historical monuments. For further details, please visit: http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/